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Millions of broadband customers are at risk of overpaying

By Jason Burdette | Financial Advisor| Tuesday 23rd March 2021

Latest research shows far too many broadband customers find prices confusing and lack track transparency

“As many as 75% of broadband users in the UK are overpaying for a service not provided or used efficiently”

Research conducted by Which? has shown that 75% of broadband customers could be at risk of overpaying for their broadband. We found that only one in five customers always make changes when their broadband contract ends, meaning the majority are at risk of paying higher ‘standard’ tariffs.

Controversy from broadband providers increases customer confusion and frustration.

Ofcom found that those on an introductory deal typically pay £8-9 less per month than customers who stay out of contract. In separate analysis of broadband deals on the market in September, we found that the worst example saw customers facing a whopping 88% price hike.

Broadband deals typically last 12, 18 or 24 months. Once this period is up, customers usually get moved onto a rolling deal automatically. For those with the UK’s largest providers, the end of a contract typically also means an increase in price from an ‘introductory’ deal to a ‘standard’ tariff.

Being out of contract might sound better – not having a fixed-term contract with a provider makes you free to switch at will. It will most suit those whose circumstances may change in the next few months. But entering a new contract (with your current provider or a new one) is probably the better option – in the majority of cases, it will mean you will pay less.

What can broadband providers do more?

Ofcom have forced providers to send end of contract notifications to customers from February 2020. Notifications will mean that people won’t end up paying more simply because they forgot their contract was coming to an end.

The UK’s major providers also recently made a series of commitments to help ensure customers aren’t being overcharged for their broadband service.

However, we think there’s more providers could do to help consumers make better decisions about which broadband package to go for…


Open pricing systems for customers at the end of their contract - not just new customers.

Improving customer service in providing honest recommendations to both new and existing customers.

Providers focus too much on upselling or overselling instead of customer service honest recommendations.

New contract, same deal, worse price

We have to ask why they aren’t making changes to their broadband contract when it ends! Half of those who rarely or never make changes may think they are happy with their provider and/or deal so don’t feel a need to do anything.

A quarter have stated it’s because they didn’t want to change providers. However, it’s possible to reduce the price on your deal without having to change anything else.

Negotiating with your provider can sound intimidating, but it only needs to involve a simple chat to review your options. There’s no need to switch or change the service you receive if you decide not to. If you don’t feel comfortable picking up the phone, you can usually contact your provider using live chat instead. In most cases, providers will offer you a discount if you sign up for a new fixed-term period – meaning you’re back in contract again.

Alternatively you can find out which broadband provider is right for you here.

What is stopping you?

It’s time to stop putting off sorting out your broadband and find out which provider is best for you and your family. 
Start Your Broadband Search

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